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Bonetta Cemetary, Ascension Island

Bonetta Cemetary, Ascension Island

Bonetta Cemetary, Ascension Island

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In the mid 19th century, sailors infected with yellow fever were landed at Comfort Cove (latterly Comfortless Cove), Ascension Island, and left to die. The residents of Georgetown, Ascension Is, would approach the Cove and leave food and water for those dying there. In order not to become infected themselves, they would fire a gun when they had rereated and it was safe for the "inhabitants" of the Cove to come out and collect what they had left.
As each in***bent died, his fellow sufferers would bury him there in the clinker, and mark his grave with a few lumps of volcanic rock or any relic of timber available to them. God alone knows the end of the last survivor.
I tok this photo in 1990, after there had been some renovation by visiting TA, and/or descendants of one or more of the dead.
Bonetta cemetary was a strange place. You walked just a few yards from the sound of waves falling loudly upon a beach at Comfortless Cove into a strange, totally silent area of just a few square yards where the dead were buried. I visted Bonetta quite a few times and never left without imagining how the last person died there. Sick, abandoned, totally alone and probably little more than a boy he must have wondered why he had ever been born.
It put the "hardships" of my seafaring era into perspective.
 

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